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What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

Trying to identify the root cause of problems and undertake the improvements needed while also delivering the day job can be a struggle, finding both the support and the time to focus on activities to make the impact we would like. It`s difficult to identify others to help make changes and challenge existing hierarchies and organisational/system barriers that get in the way. Services and different parts of the Trust and wider system also tend to work in silos with inconsistency of involvement from staff or people using services. Building on this idea will help increase wider community involvement, improvement capability, job satisfaction, patient experience and educational capital, reduce duplication and activity that doesn`t add value in our organisation and the wider system through developing connections, sharing resources, spread of improvement activities and development opportunities. Literature, staff and patient experience and feedback are key forms of current evidence.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Improve patient care and experience, building QI skills and connections across the organisation and wider system.  We want to develop an Improvement Network, bringing together a range of improvement individuals who manage, deliver and/or receive services from our organisation and others across the system. Our vision is that by forming the Improvement Network, made up of interconnecting QI Collaboratives and Communities of Practice, improvers will feel supported and connected to others – regardless of their roles. The Improvement Network will become a force for positive change within the Trust and across the wider system – reduce duplication and bureaucracy. A more collaborative and sustainable approach to change, recognising people who use services and staff as equal partners, will lead to improved outcomes and value. We would build on our existing partnership with the Mental Health Forum to ensure co-production, peer leadership and partnership working is at the heart of our model.

How will the project be delivered?

As part of the Improvement Network we are proposing  an Improvement Development scheme, which will be a platform for the spread of QI knowledge and activity, as well as key connecting points of the Network. Individuals will be supported to focus on individual QI development and chosen improvement activity, alongside their role with protected time and backfill of salary available. We will work with others to:

Co-design a more supportive and creative environment in which improvement can grow
Develop and connect a number of QI Collaboratives and Communities of Practice
Create a critical mass of experience in quality improvement methods through a range of training and development opportunities
Share learning and expertise about how we can do things differently, provide better care, improve staff and patient experience via various communications and engagement events
Collaborate with a range of internal and external partners, including Q members, to help develop and promote the Network

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?

Training and Development sessions delivered and outcomes

Build and share a flexible range of QI activities and resources

Experience based co-design

Communication and engagement campaign – including social media channels, posters, postcards, `talking heads` series, podcasts, videos, `guerilla improvement`, hack days, workshops using liberating structures & unconferencing for wider reach and appeal, `day in the life` job swaps, use of digital options to connect and `bring it to life` (e.g zapper)

Range of communications materials

`Bring and buy` sharing events

Sharing stories and experiences

World café engagement event

Improvement Network Festival

Individuals getting involved in the Improvement Development role will be expected to share learning with others, present their QI activity and be active participants in the development of the Improvement Network across the organisation & system as Improvement Connectors.

How you can contribute

  • Connect with others who are developing Communities of Practice
  • Sharing experience of linking different QI collaboratives together to help with spread and sustainability across different services
  • Any other suggestions very welcome!

Plan timeline

22 Sep 2019 Start mapping current assets across Trust and wider system
17 Nov 2019 World cafe event to widen the conversation and harness ideas
13 Jan 2020 Pop up engagement across the Trust and external partners
10 Feb 2020 Build connectors framework & communications tools, recurit
16 Mar 2020 Launch and sharing event
13 Apr 2020 Complete webpage and extend communications campaign
1 Jul 2020 Improvement Network festival


  1. Thank you for your helpful comments - we think it has really exciting potential - also building on our partnerships, ensuring co-production is central to design and delivery, so will set that out more clearly! Fingers crossed...! Best wishes, Kirsten

  2. Great idea! Have you thought of embedding co-production in your approach? I ask because Dorset has such a fabulous reputation for this and it seems like an obvious win win!

    Good luck

    best wishes


  3. I think this idea fits very well alongside the Q community's overall ethos and aims - I wonder if it works as a separate project or perhaps the ideas could inform Q's future development?

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